A Photograph | Question Solutions


A Photograph | Question Solutions

A Photograph | Question Solutions

A Photograph | Question Solutions

A Photograph Question Solutions

– Shirley Toulson

A Photograph | Question Solutions


Think It Out

Q.1. What does the ‘cardboard’ denote in the poem? Why has this word been used?

Ans: In the poem entitled ‘A Photograph’ the word ‘cardboard denotes the photograph of the poet’s mother.

The word ‘cardboard’ has been used because the poet’s mother is dead and hence the photograph remains as a mere cardboard.

Q.2. What has the camera captured?

Ans: The camera has captured the images of three girls. One of them is the poet’s mother. And the other two are the cousins of the poet’s mother. Each of them is holding the hand of the poet’s mother. They are standing on the sea beach and their feet are washed off by the seawater.

Q.3. What has not changed over the years? Does this suggest something to you?

Ans: It is the sea that has not been changed over the years, but a drastic change has come over to the little girls.

This suggests that human life on the earth is subject to change and decay, but the object of nature is eternal or least changing.

Q.4. The poet’s mother laughed at the snapshot. What did this laugh indicate?

Ans: The poet’s mother laughed at the snapshot because, looking at the snapshot, she recalls her childhood which was full of joy and merriment. This indicates that childhood is full of carefree and happiness.

Q.5. What is the meaning of the line ‘Both wry with the laboured ease of loss.’

Ans: The line expresses the similitude between the facial expression of the poet’s mother and the poet himself. The mother was sad for the loss of her cheerful childhood and the poet was sad at the loss of his mother’s laughter as she was dead.

Q.6. What does ‘this circumstance’ refer to?

Ans: Here ‘this circumstance’ refers to the poet’s feeling of loneliness and sadness for the loss of his mother.

Q.7. The three stanzas depict three different phases. What are they?

Ans: The three stanzas depict three different phases as-

The first stanza depicts the mother’s childhood which was full of carefree and cheerfulness.

The second stanza depicts the happiest moments when the poet and his mother were together.

The third phase depicts the poet’s feeling of sadness and loneliness because of losing her mother.


Q.1. Read the following stanza and answer the questions that follow:


‘The cardboard shows me how it was

When the two girl cousins went paddling,

Each one holding one of my mother’s hands, 

And she the big girl- some twelve years or so.’


(i) What does the cardboard show the poet? 1

(ii) How did the girls go to the sea beach? 1

(iii) Why did the two girl cousins hold one of the poet’s mother’s hands? How old was the poet’s mother? 2

(iv) Who clicked the three girls in the cardboard?

Ans:  (i) The cardboard shows the poet how his mother and the three cousins were when they went to the sea beach.

(ii) The three girls went to the sea beach on foot (paddling).

(iii) The two girls held one of the poet’s mother for safety on the beach because they were little girls.

(iv) The uncle of the poet’s mother clicked the three girls in the cardboard.


‘Some twenty-thirty years later

She’d laugh at the snapshot. ‘See Betty And Dolly.’ She’d say, ‘and look how they

Dressed us for the beach.’ The sea holiday

Was her past, mine is her laughter. Both wry

With the laboured ease of loss.’


(i) Who would laugh at the snapshot and why? 1

(ii) What are the past for the poet and for his mother? 1

(iii) Explain the phrase ‘laboured ease of loss.’ 2

(iv) Find out a word in the stanza that means  ‘curved’. 1

Ans: (i) The poet’s mother would laugh at the snapshot seeing the change that she had undergone during the span of twenty or thirty years.

(ii) For the poet the laughter of his mother is the past and for his mother, the sea holiday was her past.

(iii) The phrase ‘laboured ease of loss’ means that both the poet and his mother laboured hard to escape from their sense of loss.

(iv) The word in the stanza that means ‘curved’ is ‘wry’.


‘Now she’s been dead nearly as many years

As that girl lived. And of this circumstance

There is nothing to say at all.

It’s silence silence.’


(i) Who is the poet of the quoted lines? 1

(ii) Explain the phrase ‘nearly as many years.’ 2 

(iii) When do you think the poet’s mother died? 1

(iv) What is meant by ‘circumstance?  1

Ans: (i) The  Poet of the quoted lines is Shirley Toulson.

(ii)  The phrase ‘nearly as many years’ indicates the years of the survival of the poet’s mother. She is dead as many years as she lived.

(iii) The poet’s mother died after her forties.

(iv) The word ‘circumstance’ means the poet’s mental state of feeling loneliness because of his mother’s death. 0 0 0.

A Photograph | Question Solutions

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